Chalkboard Fireplace Surround :: A Year Later

This corner fireplace has been a challenge to deal with.

Here’s how it looked when we moved in.  It has a yellowy fake marble surround and a tiny piece of weak, glued on scroll work.

I had that carved wooden piece for years, I bought it from TJ Maxx for $13 so I nailed it up there.  And last year I told you about how I applied stick on chalkboard paper to the surround. I still love it.  But, the “bricks” were looking sad so I got out my chalk markers and redrew them.  I want it to be a little imperfect and quirky.

We’ve had the chalkboard peely sheet things up for a year now and they have behaved just fine.  And we used the fireplace many times last winter.  If you are renting or don’t want to mess up the current surround you have but want a change, this peel and stick chalkboard vinyl is a great solution. Just make sure it’s not too close to your firebox.  If you have some awful material there and you own your house, you could just paint it.

Here’s the google search for chalkboard vinyls. Wall Candy Arts sent me some last year for free and I noticed the price seemed high but, the quality is great and they were easy to cut and reposition.

I hope to get my mantel looking a little more like fall.  You too?  Want some motivation?  How about a fall mantel link up party next Wednesday, September 8th.  Is that too early?

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  1. I’m looking forward to seeing your mantel, but it seems like rushing the seasons to me. We are still in a heat wave here, so it still feels very much like summer . I love summer so I’m not goint to give it up too easily. Besides, after autumn comes a long, long winter. Brrrrrrrrrr. I WANT summer to last much longer!

    Costco already has Chritmas trees, wrapping paper and wreaths on display, and our kids haven’t even gone back to school yet! Ugh! (And I LOVE Christmas!)

  2. It’s not to early – in my mind, Fall starts September 1st. Yes, I’m delusional, it was 90 here yesterday. But the mornings & evenings are starting to cool down, and that means fall to me!

  3. NO WAY!!! It is not to early! I am breaking out my fall decor this weekend while I have some extra time! I LOVE this time of year! And I definitely do need some inspiration for my HUGE mantle. If anyone wants to be extra helpful today, hop on over to this post and see the huge fireplace! Any tips would be greatly appreciated….not just about fall. Thanks!

  4. Hello,

    Random question! I am in love with your dresser and have been looking all over craigslist (Dallas) to find one like it. I ultimately want a green dresser:) Where did you get that dresser? Any suggestions on shopping?


  5. brilliant. absolutely. brilliant. I think that’s just got to be one of the best lil things I’ve ever seen.

  6. It’s not too early at all! I’ve been thinink about fall since the middle of August. Leaves chaning…. fall decorations….. crisp, cool weather….. Pumpkin Spice Lattes…..

  7. I’ll have to start thinking how to decorate mine! See you there!!!


  8. I’m with you on the corner fireplace. Ours is a blessing and a curse; blessing because I can’t move it like I have moved EVERYTHING else in our house, curse because I can’t move it. :)

  9. I love these little personal touches you find ways to add when renting. My husband is in the military and I have no idea when we’ll be in a house that is our own. Thanks for the inspiration :)

  10. I too have a corner fireplace. I love it b/c it totally fits the character of our 1820s home but its dark woodwork like everything else here and presents a design challenge to me on a daily basis. You can read more about the design challenges I face with it in this post:
    Id love any advice anyone wants to give me!:)

  11. I love that! And where in the world did you get your curtains??? I love them!!!

  12. Has is already been a year??? The view of that room is gorgeous–I love the edge that the modern-ish lamps give. And the “pieces of nature” in the frame and blue vase…

  13. I want to join… but I don’t have a fireplace! I’ll be looking at everyone’s with envy!

  14. What a cool idea with the chalkboard surround and drawing in “bricks”! I love it! We recently did a fireplace reno and did a surround of river rocks. I haven’t found anything to decorate it yet but maybe I’ll look for some fall-themed ideas. Can’t wait to get inspiration from you!

  15. I jsut got my first set of chalk ink markers the other day {making a calendar for the kitchen}.

    Sept 8th, hmmm, I might not be ready! It’s still 85 here and ‘m getting all the sun I can :-)

  16. I would have never thought of this idea but it looks great! I can’t wait for fall…bring it on!

  17. Not ready for or feeling like Fall here yet. We are supposed to have a couple of days of 80ish degree weather this weekend, but then right back up to 90’s. We’re still enjoying summer type activities too much to rush into fall. I don’t start getting that feeling usually till sometime in October. I don’t really do fall decorating inside tho.

    Cute puppy (in the sunshine)!


  18. i don’t think it’s too early! school has started and we actually found an orange leaf this week way down here in the hottest city known to man. i just changed some things out on my mantel in favor of fallish things. you’ve made this point before: you can decorate for fall without getting the pumpkins out!

  19. Love your fireplace surround! And it’s great to know that it has held up well.

    Oh, boy, a mantel linky party. . . hmmm. I’m horrible, horrible, horrible with mantels. I have a large piece of art over the mantel, and I get stuck on wanting symmetry, but not wanting things to stupidly matchy. Now I’ll have to put my thinking cap on!

  20. I love this! I copied you and painted my fake fireplace (in the dining room) surround in chalkboard paint. I wrote a bunch of my favorite quotes on it in cursive handwriting and I love it! Couldn’t be happier. Thanks so much for the fantastic idea….


  21. Definitely not too early! Thanks for the heads up- I’ll get my mantle “fall ready” this weekend !! :)

  22. Fun idea!

  23. Not too early. I can’t wait. I am digging stuff out every day. It may be in the 90’s here but my spirit is ready for cool days and pumpkins in view. I need new ideas for my mantle…..tired of pottery for awhile.

  24. I love the chalk board surround! Very fun and quirky!! What, Sept 8th, for a fall mantel!!?? I love fall its my favorite season but I’m in no hurry to get there:-) I’ll just have to use your linky for inspiration and ideas! Though I did get a collection of orange and yellow flowers to put out in our front planter already. That’s mostly because my, um, summer flowers were all dead:-)

  25. Dang it! That’s brilliant! Now if I only had a fireplace with a surround to change up…..
    Instead I’ve got a woodstove, no mantel and the nook it sits in is dark enough already…so I’m thinking chalkboard paint would make that whole woodstove + nook= pitch black. Maybe I’ll find something else that needs chalkboard peel & stick. LOL!

  26. I can’t get over how fabulous this looks- even a full year later! Peel and stick chalk board…what will they think of next?!

  27. That is SO clever! It’s quirky and fun and I love it :)

    I don’t think Sept. 8th is too early… I may or may not have decorated my mantel for Fall last night! ;)

  28. I love seeing how your fireplace has evolved! I would love to join in your mantle linky, fall is my favorite!! But we just moved, and I have a horrific mantle now… I would looove any tips on my awkward living room and fireplace you could send my way:

  29. My fav part about that first photo is that it looks like you woke the dog up when you took the picture. Hee hee!

  30. LOL…I am laughing because I am trying to imagine our ” fall mantle” decorated with vintage creams, blacks, orange, candles, AND THEN I wake up to the big screen tv, surround sound speakers and stereo equipment….yuck:) Kinda ruined my vision of a fall mantle…. BUT I am going to use this as my excuse to have him help me hide some of those things:) Not to early at all to be thinkin about is my favorite time of year. Thanks :) can I blame it on you?=)

  31. Looks so great! Looking forward to your fall mantel ideas :)

  32. NO!!! It’s not too early!!! Shoot, today’s not too early!! I can’t wait for Fall!! :)

  33. What a clever girl you are!!! It looks great…I would have never known it was chalkboard paint if you hadn’t pointed it out!

  34. We have a brick fireplace with a plain white wood piece on top. What would you recommend to do? I have heard of painting the brick. Not sure what paint to use. What are your thoughts? Thanks.

  35. not too early… considering i did my mantel last weekend ;)

  36. I sometimes do fall decorations on Sept. 1st…:)

  37. Nester, where did you get that stick on chalkboard?

  38. You are so creative, I love your blog!!
    Carol in GA

  39. Colleen P. says:

    OH! There IS a doggie in the picture! Totally missed that the first time!
    Sigh-I’d love to join you but I think mantel decoration would be pointless, since the only mantel in the house is in the garage (it’s a weird story…)

  40. If it’s too early, then I’m fashionably….early? LOL! I posted my mantel today. :/

  41. love what you did! here’s my issue….i am renting a home with a (insert sarcasm) LOVELY oak mantle. i can hardly stand to look at it. HELP! have you seen anyone get creative with hideous mantles without redoing them permanently?

  42. Bring on the fall!

    I finally bought some of the those chalk markers and I have to admit, I love them so much with their smooth writing and solid colors I didn’t want to share them with my kids! And then I remembered, everything I have belongs to God. They are God’s markers anyway.

  43. Nester-
    I love the chalkboard paint. I’ve always wondered about our fireplace surround. It’s that big marble tile (white). Soooooooo blah. Can you paint it? Do you have to use something special due to the heat? And do you prime the marble tiles (probably fake marble anyway!)?

  44. Now you’ve gone + motivated me to drag out the Fall decor! Even though it is still hot as blazes here in the Tarheel state. Thanks for the push! :)

  45. So creative and fun.


  46. Hmm… we don’t have a fireplace, but I’ve been thinking of trying to add a fake mantle someday. I wasn’t sure what to do with the “fire” part, though. I’ve seen some fake fireplaces with bookshelves, which looked nice, but putting books there just seemed wrong. :) But now you’ve got me thinking about painting the fire area with chalkboard paint. We draw in a fire, or whatever else… This idea will keep me entertained for a while.

  47. Not too early, excellent timing– I started the fall decorating today! Of course I’ll fiddle with it a dozen times before I’m happy with it.

  48. I can’t wait to see all the fall mantle decorations. I have TWO mantles on the same wall. Someone must have been insane when they did that. I NEVER know what to put up there. We’ve been here 12 years and I’m never happy with them. Hoping for some wonderful inspiration!

  49. Did I miss the link up?? I was so excited because I need some help with my mantle!

  50. such a beautiful home interior designing and interior furnishing!

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